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yet the obama administration within months of taking office released several olc memos describing the legal justification for the treatment of terrorist detainees in u.s. custody. within months of taking office released several olc memos describing the legal justification for the treatment of terrorist detainees in u.s. custody. do you think it was appropriate that a different standard was applied to the release of the memos from the bush administration than those produced by the obama administration? >> i do not think there was a different standard. >> one was released within four months of the obama administration taking office. the other had been requested for a much longer time.
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>> i am not a lawyer. i have come to learn of the term sui generis. the olc memos released after the president came into office were released because the program was terminated. olc will counsel opinions, and those opinions were looked at in a different way because of the sui generis circumstances. >> both are essential for the ability of congress to carry its oversight responsibilities. finally, the intelligence reform act and terrorist prevention act of 2004, with which you are very familiar and which i was a co-author, requires the director of national intelligence to recommend who the cia director should be to the president of
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the united states. i am aware of general clapper -- the dni's letter, endorsing your nomination, which is different from his actually recommending to the president that you be chosen. to your knowledge, did general clapper recommend to the president that he be nominated for this position? >> i know for certain that he made a recommendation, but i would defer to general clapper to tell you what that recommendation is. >> thank you. >> senator heinrich? >> thank you for your service to this country and welcome you to the committee.
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and should you be confirmed, i would like to start by just inviting you to visit to mexico at some point and in particular sandia and los alamos national labs, because while you often do not hear about the contributions they make to our intelligence community, i can assure you that that support is vital to keeping our nation safe. i have a few questions, and forgive me if some of these return to some of the things you have heard from other senators. i want to start with your november 2007 interview with cbs news, where you said, "there have been a lot of information that has come out of these interrogation procedures that the agency has in fact used against the real hard-core terrorists." other intelligence officials went a lot further than that in defending the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques at the time, and some still do.
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if your review of the committee consists that these did not in fact save lives, i would like to ask would you be as public into condemning the program as you were in its defense, and, in other words, would you set the record straight? >> i will do whatever possible to make sure that the record is straight and that i speak fully and honestly on it. >> i want to return to a question that mr. udall asked you. would you object to, and if so, why, to a public release to a declassified version of the committee's report? >> i would give such a request for declassification every consideration. there is a lot of information and those volumes with a lot of potential consequences as far as its public release. at the same time that we have a
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commitment to take care to, we also have a tremendous commitment to making sure that we keep this country safe by protecting its secrets. there are a lot of equities and operational activities, and it has to be looked at carefully. >> i would just say i agree with you that sources and methods and many of the operational details absolutely should never be declassified, but there is some basic principles in that report that i think is going to be very important for history to be able to judge. i would urge you to look closely at that. senator levin asked about waterboarding. let me follow up. in november 2007, you were asked if waterboarding was torture, and you said it is subjecting an individual to severe pain and suffering, which is the classic definition of
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torture. "i believe quite frankly it is inconsistent with american values and should be prohibited." is that still your view? >> yes, senator. >> thank you. do you think all agencies of the united states government should be held to interrogation centers that are laid out in the army field manual as currently required by executive order, and you support efforts to codify this into law? >> the fbi has its own processes and procedures and laws that covers its activities, so i wanted to do is to make sure
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appropriate attention is paid to fbi as opposed to military. >> i understand. back in 2006, you were part of an on-line discussion with "the washington post," where you suggested at that time that the director of the cia should have a set five-year term, like the fbi director, to guarantee "absolute need for independence and integrity to give to the senior ranks of our intelligence community." given that you will serve at the pleasure of the president, how do you maintain your independence? >> having grown up in the community for 25 years, i understand the importance and value at maintaining independence and integrity of the process. i know when i have sat in the white house situation room and when i have looked to the intelligence briefer, that if they were to advocate in any way a policy preference, it calls into question the independence, subjectivity, and basis of that intelligence. i want them to give me the facts as is, in respect of what their leanings or preferences might be. policy makers need to do that. in order to me to be able to maintain my integrity, as i would go to the president, secretary of state, or the national security council
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meeting, i need to make sure i can say it straight, get it straight, and that the policymakers determine the best course of action. >> thank you. one last question. i believe it was during that same discussion with "the washington post" you said, "i think there is an effort underway for the cia to adapt to the new realities of the intelligence community. the cia has resisted many of these changes, which has been a problem. it is time to move forward." what exactly did you mean and has the cia progressed? >> i credit you and your staff for following up that interview, because i had not read about that or thought about that for a while. i must say, having grown up in the agency for 25 years, i have tremendous respect for that organization. it is exceptionally capable, competent, by nature of its work, it also at times is insular and it has not
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interacted and interoperated the way it needs to with the rest of the intelligence community and government. at times that is to protect methods and the secrets it has. but given the changes in the environment, given the changes in the nature of our government, cia needs to play a part in this large a role. now the head of cia does not sit on top of the key intelligence community, but is part of a larger community that is led by another. my objective is to make sure our capabilities are leveraged and empowered to responsibilities, the missions of the rest of the government, the department of the homeland security is a new creation, and they need intelligence like everyone else. there was resistance at the time of the rgpa that they did not want to break some of the past practices.
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a lot of that resistance is overcome, and cia analyses the benefit of having someone sit on top of that committee. >> that is very helpful. i will yield back. >> that you very much, senator. senator king? you want to turn on your mike? >> thank you for your testimony and stamina today. i should tell you in an earlier hearing secretary panetta was testifying before the armed services committee, and he strongly endorsed your nomination. i think the record clearly shows that secretary panetta was very complimentary at your capabilities and experience. secondly, and this is not really a question, it is incredibly important for the cia to be as open, to be totally open with this committee. the reason is that there is no one else watching. typically in our country, where the public is involved, the press involved, there are a lot
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of people that have access to intermission to what the department of state or commerce is doing. this is a unique situation where this committee and house are the only places where they are paying attention in terms of separation of powers. it is not just nice to have that openness. it is critically important, and i hope you subscribe to that view. >> absolutely, i do. >> briefly, and i think senator warner touched on this, going forward, there needs to be some discussion with the department of defense about where the cia and the department of defense starts in terms of counter- terrorism activities, operations, and i do not want to pursue that, but i think senator warner raised an important point, because we cannot be duplicating a whole set of capabilities and priorities and officers and procedures.
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i take you subscribe to that? >> i do agree, and look forward to you in closed session to look and talk to you about the areas where the relationship of these agencies are critically important. mindful of not having any type of redundant capabilities, we need to make sure we can leverage the capabilities in both organizations for the good of this country. >> and the area i want to spent time on is that iran policy as it relates to the american citizens. there is a lot of law and history involved in our system of checks and balances. james madison said if people were angels, we would not need a government, and if the government was run by angels, we would not need checks and balances. he concluded that angels were in short supply, as they are today. we need checks and balances. the fifth amendment is clear -- no deprivation of life and
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liberty without due process of law, and we are depriving americans of their life when we target and in a drone attack. i understand it is under military circumstances. these are the enemy combatants. i would like to suggest to you that you consider, and madam chairman, i would like to suggest that we consider a fisa-type court process where an american citizen is what the targeted for a lethal strike, but having the executive being the prosecutor, judge, jury, an executioner all in one is very contrary to traditions and the laws of this country, particularly in a situation where there is time. if a soldier on a battlefield does not have time to go to court, if you are planning to
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strike over a matter of days, weeks, or months, there is an opportunity to at least go to some outside of the executive branch body like the fisa court make a case that this citizen is an enemy combatant and at least that would be some check on the activities of the executive. i have great confidence in you and president obama, but all the lessons of history, it should not matter who is in charge, because we should have procedures and processes in place that will protect us no matter who the people are that are in the particular positions. how do you react to the suggestion? >> it is worthy of discussion. the judicial tradition is that a court of law is used. this is very different from the decisions made on the
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battlefield as well as actions taken against terrorists, because none of those actions are to determine pass the guilt for actions they took. the decisions are made to take action so we prevent a future action, to protect american lives. that is inherently an executive-branch function to determine, and the commanders and chiefs and executive have the responsibility to protect the american citizens. we have wrestled with this in terms of whether they can be a fisa-like court. certain types of activities -- but it is analogous to a court
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going -- >> action we take our to take actions against individuals where we believe the intelligence base is so strong and the nature of the threat is so grave and serious as well as imminent that we have no recourse except to take this action that may involve a lethal strike. >> i agree, and i understand the dilemma. i am not suggesting anything that would limit our ability to take actions on behalf of american citizens. i would feel comfortable if somebody other than a member of the executive said we agree the evidence is so strong, etc., as he stated, and in the hamdi decision, sandra day o'connor said a state of war is not a blank check. >> the point of due process needs to be taken into account. american citizens by definition are due much greater due process by their citizenship. this is a worthwhile discussion. what is the appropriate balance between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches responsibilities in this area. >> i appreciate your
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consideration, and again, appreciate your testimony today, and thank you for your service to this country. madam chairman, i yield back my time. >> thank you very much. we will do another quick round. i think one of the problems is now that the drone program is so public, and one american citizen has been caught up, people do not know much about this one american citizen, so- called. they do not know what he has been doing. they do not know what he is connected to. they do not know the incitement he has stirred up. i wonder if you could tell us a little bit about mr. awlaki and what he had been doing.
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>> i am not going to talk about any particular operation or responsibility for anything whenever. >> that is the problem. when people hear american citizens, they think somebody who is an upstanding, and this man was not standing by a long shot. maybe you cannot discuss it here, but i have read enough to know that he was a real problem. >> before he died he was intimately involved in activities that were designed to kill innocent men, women, and children, and mostly americans. he was not just a propagandist. he was in fact part of the operational effort that is known as al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and had responsibilities in that regard. >> can i ask some questions about him? did he have a connection to abdulmuttalab who intended to explode a device over detroit?
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>> yes, he did. >> could you tell us what connection it was? >> i would prefer not to at this time. >> did he have a connection to the fort hood attack? >> al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has a variety of means of communicating and inciting individuals, whether that be websites, emails, or other types of things. there are a number of occasions where individuals have been in touch with other individuals. senator, i will not address the specifics of these, but -- >> i will ask you a couple questions. did shahzad, who pled guilty to the times square bombing attempt, tell that he was inspired by al-awlaki?
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>> yes. >> last october, al-awlaki, did he have a role in supervising aqap by detonating explosives, as a matter of fact, coming inside a computer printer cartridge? >> he was involved in overseeing a number of these activities, yes, there was a relationship. >> were they so concealed that the first attempt to find did not find them? >> yes, the method used was one of the best we had ever encountered. >> so mr. al-awlaki is by not an american citizen by where anyone in america would be proud?
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>> he was part of al qaeda, and it was his determination to kill americans on behalf of al qaeda. >> thank you. is it true that in the last four years the fbi has arrested 100 people, either planning, conspiring, or trying to commit a terrorist attack on this nation? >> yes, they have arrested a lot of people. >> that is because of good, sound intelligence. i think what people forget is that they will kill us if they can and it is extraordinarily difficult if you cannot get into where they were hiding. would it have been possible to have arrested mr. al-awlaki where he was in the yemen?
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>> we work very closely with yemenis to see if we can arrest individuals. if we can, we want to do that because it is valuable for us. any actions taken in concert with the yemeni government are done in terms of any types of strikes we might engage there with them, are done only because we do not have the ability to bring those individuals into custody. >> thank you. my time is up. senator chambliss? >> thanks, madam chair. in 2002 what was your knowledge of interrogation videotapes about zebeda, and did you see any information about a review of them in 2002? >> i do not have their recollection of that, senator.
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>> of the tapes or that request? >> at the time in 2002, i did not know what my involvement or knowledge was at the time. i believe i was aware of the briefings being taped. >> it should be no surprise that many members have been dissatisfied with the administration's cooperation on the benghazi inquiries. senator graham asked director clapper if he was aware of the attacks in the summer of 2012 and asked if he had informed the president about those attacks. those seemed like reasonable questions, and dni said we would be given an answer. when we got an answer back from the dni, there was a notation next to this particular
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question that senator graham asked, and here is what it said -- "per nss, no response required." mr. brennan, that is your shop. do you have any knowledge about why senator graham's question was not to be answered? >> there is a longstanding tradition understanding of respecting the executive privilege that exists in the presidency in terms of what information is provided to the president or advice, counsel, to him. i would suspect that that question gets into this issue of the executive privilege which i think again has been a long standing tradition. >> are you sure that is the answer or do you think? >> i do not understand, because that will not be a request coming to me.
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>> i understand, so my direction to you, at what i ask you, is that you review that. we will get you the and notation, if necessary. secretary panetta told us it was detainee information that was key to them finding the courier and bin laden. were you briefed by any of the analysts who tracked down bin laden? >> before the operation? >> yes. >> yes, absolutely. >> is that the information given to you, that it came from interrogation of detainees on
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whom eip's had been used? >> i cannot recall. they talked about the chain of collection that took place related to the information coming from the detainees. >> do you agree with secretary panetta's comments? >> senator, looking at this document from ssci, i do not know what the facts are. i really need to look at that carefully and see what cia's response is. the report called into question whether any information was unique. >> fair enough. the secretary comment's are indirect -- you told me a couple days ago when we met that the study was not objective, and it was a
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prosecutor's brief, written with an eye toward finding problems. you went on to say your withholding judgment until you read the response. my understanding is from what he said, that is what you are going to do. suppose the cia takes a position and finds that the conclusions are wrong. i know john brennan well enough to note that you are quick to stand up and say what is on your mind and what ever you conclude. i am not want to ask you for response to that, but i know you will give us your thoughts and opinions about cia's response to it and how we move forward with this. >> i will do that.
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>> thank you very much. >> senator wyden. i mean senator rockefeller. >> thank you, madam chair. i just made a comment to the chair, mr. brennan, that i have been through a whole lot of confirmation hearings in 28 years here, including quite a few cia directors. i quite honestly do not recall anybody who is more forthright, more direct, more accommodating without violating who you are, more open to the possibility of
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working with this committee in a way that will do two things -- one, that will give the folks at cia who probably constantly worry about what is the next awful thing that we are going to say about them, but that is not our intention because we are into the business of problem solving, and if we have a 26,000-page document, it is not fun for us if we are trying to solve a problem. i have a feeling you understand that, you have a feeling that you feel the cia, if they felt they were working in -- with some contention with the oversight committee in the senate, but that the senate was involved, was informed, interested, that this would be
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something they would welcome. that there are a lot of people over at the cia who may be stuck in that midlife crisis, etc., who are looking for an open, fresh, a strong leader. i happen to think you are that leader. i have felt that since our conversation. i felt that from before our conversation. and we have not had our secret meeting yet, so -- i am sure i am not going to change my mind. i think you have done an extraordinary job of patience, courtesy, and the only question you could not answer that i am aware of is who was it that took notes on the meeting that you had 20 years ago. but i find it in my heart to forgive you for that. to me, i think you are a terrific leader, and i will look forward to tuesday, i think you are the guy for the job and the only guy for the job.
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>> thank you, senator, for your very kind words, and i have not lived up to them yet. it is a daunting task to go to cia. i want every member of this committee to be defender of the men and women of the cia, and i see it as my obligation to represent them to you on their behalf, so when times get tough and when people are going to be criticizing the cia, i have all of you to say you knew about what the cia were doing, and you will defend them. >> thank you. senator burr? >> i will be brief because i notice you are on your fourth glass of water and i do not want to be accused of waterboarding you.
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[laughter] with the exception of our request for the presidential daily briefs around the time of benghazi, which there was executive privilege claim, do you know of any other claim of the state of privilege on the documents that this committee is waiting on now? >> i know there are requests for emails that might have taken place between the intelligence community and the white house, and so there are a number of elements that i think people are looking at. >> but none that executive privilege have been claimed on? >> i am not a position to say that, and i would defer to those individuals, the white house counsel, to make those determinations about what they want to -- >> they have not testified not producing those documents on its executive privilege. if they are brought to claim it, they need to claim it quick.
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on january 13 of this year, president obama signed into law the 2013 intelligence authorization act which requires notification of any disclosure of national intelligence. we have not received any notification of authorized disclosures. have there been any authorized disclosures, to your knowledge? >> since you have not received any notification, there have not been. >> would you consider the information reported about the cameras and playback an authorized disclosure? >> i do not know which piece you're talking about. there has much discussion in the media and in the newspapers about this. i do not know specifically about any classified information. the fact that the administration may be going through a process to institutionalize our processes
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and procedures in an of itself is not a classified issue. those details that are classified, i do not know of any that came out in some of those reports. >> if there is classified information that is out there, and it was not authorized, was there a crime report filed relative to the play book? >> presumably there was, senator. those decisions as far as initiating investigations are done by those agencies that have stewardship of that information. in discussions with the department of justice, to make a determination whether or not unlike of the fact that maybe some many people have access to it, how they can proceed with criminal investigations. >> as we prepare for the closed hearing on monday -- on tuesday -- i will ask you today that you be prepared to provide for the committee any specific discussions that you have where
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you are authorized to reveal classified information or to talk about information on covert action, not something i would like to do today. the answer may be zero. if there are things tuesday, it would be an opportunity to provide. that was a question from a pre- hearing question that was unanswered. my last question is i am still not clear on whether you think the information from cia interrogations saves lives. have you ever made a representation to a court, including a fisa court, but the type and importance of information learned from detainees? >> the first question, if i believe there was that information --
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>> whether i was clear. all i am not clear at this time because i read a report that calls into question a lot of information that i was provided earlier on. when i was in the government as the head of national counter- terrorism center, i know that i had signed out a number of affirmations related to the continuation of certain programs based on the analysis and intelligence that was available. i do not know exactly what it was at the time, but we can look at that. but the committee can assume that you had faith -- if you make that claim to a court, you had faith in the documents and in the information that was supplied you to make that declaration? >> absolutely. if i made such an affirmation, i would have faith that the information provided was an accurate representation.
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>> thank you very much. >> thank you, senator, very much. >> thank you, senator. we have talked for several hours now about the question of targeted killings of americans, and you have heard it from a number of senators. i would like to get your reaction on one point in particular. that is this question, particularly in the concept you have given, that you have tried to focus on areas where the evidence is substantial, the threat is imminent, where there is a particularly persuasive case, that the targeted killing of americans is warranted. in that kind of case, do you believe that the president should provide an individual american with the opportunity to surrender before killing them? >> i have not spoken about any
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specific operations -- >> i am talking about the concept because you talk about the concept. imminent threats, serious evidence, grave concern, and certainly words that strike, according to me, and that is why i would be interested in your thoughts weather in those kinds of instances the president ought to give, should give, individual americans the opportunity to surrender. >> that's use the example of al qaeda, because if an american were to join al qaeda, we have said, openly, repeatedly, that we are at war with al qaeda. we have set out kind that is trying to kill americans, and that we will do everything possible to protect the lives of american citizens from these murderous attacks. we have signaled this worldwide. we repeatedly have said it openly. any american he joins al qaeda will know full well that they have joined an authorization that is at war with the united states and has killed thousands upon thousands of individuals, many of whom were americans.
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in american who did that should know well that they in fact are part of an enemy against us and that the united states will do everything possible to destroy that enemy to save american lives. >> and i certainly, and i said this at the very beginning, i certainly want to be part of that effort to fight al qaeda on all of these key fronts. i just want to have some answers, and i will give you another chance, whether you think the president should give an individual american a chance to surrender? i think senator king talked about the idea, and i commend you for saying you are open to hearing about that. this is something that can be set in motion in a straightforward way as a general principle, and i am not talking about any one individual, and you have answered the question, and i will not go any further, unless you want to add anything
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to it. the other point i would say is we have covered a lot of ground today, and as far as i'm concerned, we have got a lot of ground still to cover. i have made it clear that we have got to see any and all of those legal opinions, once that a bipartisan group of senators asked for, before the vote at your credit you said you would take the message back to the white house. because what it really goes to, mr. brennan, is this question of checks and balances. and we probably did not use that word and off this afternoon, because i think that is really what this is all about.
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a constitution gives the president the significant power to protect our country, and dangerous times, unfettered power. it is power that is balanced through this special system that ensures a congressional oversight, and that is why these questions that i and others have tried to get at in terms of congressional oversight, being able to get all of the opinions that are relevant to the legal analysis for targeting americans, and then to learn more about how you are going to bring the public into the discussion. certainly you have been patient this afternoon, and i want you to know we have covered a lot of ground, but i think we have a lot to go. >> any member of al qaeda, a
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u.s. citizen or not, needs to know they have the ability to surrender anytime, anywhere throughout the world, and they can do so before their organization is to strike. we will destroy that organization, and u.s. citizens can surrender anytime. >> just on that point, i do not take a back seat to anybody in terms of citing al qaeda. i asked you a different question, and on the question of what kind of evidence ought to be applied, whether there ought to be geographic limits, the question of whether an individual should be allowed to surrender. for example, there is a question of whether the obligation changes, a valid target has not been publicly reported, so there are issues here, and i think we are going to have to continue discussions, and,
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madam, i look forward to the extra round. >> senator coats. >> i think it may be better held for further discussion next week in the classified room, but this whole idea of leaks, nothing upsets me more in this committee, and we have had a lot of these in the last few years, to see something that was discussed in classified areas, written up the next day in the newspapers or on the part of the media, and it drives some of us crazy. it does me, anyway. so maybe i am paranoid about all this and so forth. i cannot totally get my hands around this al qaeda in the arabian peninsula situation which we discussed earlier, but i will defer that until tuesday so we can discuss in more
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detail. that may just ask you one question here. you said -- i do not have the date -- the al qaeda core has been dissipated. we see this thing metastasizing now across northern africa and other parts. what is your latest assessment of al qaeda in terms of its control and operation of these smaller efforts that are popping up in different parts of the middle east and north
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africa? >> in the past i think the core asserted an amount of the influence over the franchises. it depends on our definition of the core and our ability to disrupt communication between them. aqap, other elements, have developed as a result of the local environment. they are unique unto themselves. we need to make sure that we are able to work with the governments and intelligence service is so we can put pressure on them. and number of them have local agendas, and some of them have international agendas. aqap in yemen has a effort underway to bring that government down, and the government has done a great job. there are other elements, narcotics smugglers, human traffickers, they involve
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kidnappings and ransoms, and are involved in terrorist attacks. we need to take into account what the informant is, who we can work with, how to put pressure on them, but any element associated with al qaeda has as part of its agenda death and destruction. i agree but we need to do is be mindful of this metastasization of the al qaeda cancer. >> in relationship to some kind of centralized control over all these things and having said that the core is decimated, it really varies. we see the al qaeda core exerting control over these elements. there is a lot of independence of effort come autonomous efforts that are underway, and i will be happy to talk and concession about the
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relationships that exist between al qaeda cores. >> thank you very much, senator. senator collins. >> thank you, madam chairman. mr. brennan, i want to follow up on the point that senator coats just raised, because if you look at a map, back in 2001, you would see that al qaeda was mainly in afghanistan and pakistan. if you look at a map today, you would see al qaeda in all sorts of countries. that is not to say that there were not cells and other countries back in 2001, but it raises the question in my mind of whether, even though we have been successful in taking out some of the core of al qaeda and some high-level leaders, whether our strategy is working. if the cancer of al qaeda it is metastasizing, do we need a new treatment? >> what we have tried to do over the past decade and longer
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is to be able to treat this real cancer in a number of ways. sometimes it takes lethal force, military might, working with our partners in a variety of ways, addressing some of the infrastructural institutional and other disease that exist in these countries that al qaeda takes advantage of. if you look at the geographic map from south asia the middle east and north africa, there has been tremendous political turbulence in that area over the past decade, and particularly in the last couple years. there are a lot of uncovered spaces that outcry has taken advantage of. we have made progress in some areas. somalia is in fact a good example of a place where we have worked with neighboring
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countries, local government, with a multilateral element in africa, to try to supress them. it is not just a kinetic solution. as we look at the sahel, this is an area where al qaeda can put down roots beyond the reaches of government. they have done this and it has been unattended because of the difficulties these countries have feeding their people. it is a different strategy -- but al qaeda -- and the force of islamic extremists that have preferred it are making some progress in areas that give me a real concern. that is why looking at syria and what is going on in that country, we cannot allow vast areas to be exported by al qaeda in these areas because it will be to our peril. >> i certainly agree with you on that, and in our testified
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hearing next week i will ask you about syria and also the iranian threat. i do not think those are appropriate in open session. just two final questions -- one has to do with priories that you have said. in recent years paramilitary operations had consumed a lot of resources, expertise, time, energy, and efforts at the cia. do you believe this has been at the expense of traditional cia responsibility collection, analysis? >> there have been opportunity costs because of the dedication
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of those resources. i would inventory our resources so they are being dedicated against a wide variety of strategic priorities to protect our country. in terms of operational collection activities worldwide, the analysis being done, what are we doing in these other areas? cyber -- are so many different areas. there is an intersection between counter-terrorism and these other areas. >> mr. brennan, you have devoted a great deal of your life to public service, for which i thank you. and you obviously understand
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the world of intelligence in a way that few people do. you have been an intelligence professional for much of your professional life. in the last four years, you have held a political position at the white house. and i have been talking to people at the cia, whom i respect, and one intelligence official told me that a key question for the men and women of the cia is which john brennan are they going to get. are they going to get john brennan who has been the right- hand adviser of president obama in a political white house, and, by the nature of the position, i do not say that critically. that is the position. or are they going to get john brennan who was a career cia officer, who worked his way up
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in the ranks? and the concern is that they want to hear that you are going to be the cia's representative to the white house, not the white house's representative to the cia. i want to give you the opportunity today to respond to that concern. i would note that i also heard a very good comments from people with whom i talked, but i think it is in accordance -- it is important that you are going to be the leader of the agency and not the white house's agent within the agency. >> thank you, senator. if i were to be honored to go out to cia, the cia would get the john brennan who is neither a democrat nor republican, nor has ever been.
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the john brennan who has a deep appreciation, respect in the intelligence profession, one who has been fortunate to have lived in 25 years, a john brennan who has had the great fortune to be in the white house the past four years watching an understanding how intelligence is used in support of our national security. cia would get a john brennan view has been working national- security issues for my life, and would get a john brennan who understands that the value of intelligence, the importance of this intelligence is not to tell the president what he wants to hear, not to tell this committee what he wants to hear, to tell the policy makers, the
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congressional overseers what they need to hear. but the intelligence committee with all its expertise has been able to uncover and understand about world events that fundamentally affect the lives of not just this generation of americans, but of future generations of americans. if i had the great privilege to lead the cia, it would be the biggest honor of my life, and i would understand just how important and we keep that would be. if i ever dishonored that responsibility, i cannot look at myself in the mirror. i could not look my family in the mirror. i could not look you in the face, and that is something that is important, so the proof will be in the pudding, and if i have that opportunity, it would be my intention to make sure i did everything possible to live up to the trust, confidence, that this congress, this senate, and this president might place in me. >> thank you very much. thank you, madam chairman.
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>> that you very much. if there are no further questions, john, i would like to associate myself with what senator rockefeller said. i have sat through a number of these hearings. i do not think i have ever heard anyone more forthright or more honest or more direct. you really did not hedge. you said what you thought. i want you to know that that is very much appreciated. i actually think you are going to be a fine and strong leader for the cia. i cannot help but say i am really fully supportive of this and will do everything i can possibly to make sure this committee works with you, closely and honestly. we will have a classified hearing. i am specifically going to just warn you that i would like to talk -- or have you respond in
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detail to what i perceive as a difficult, the evolving situation in north africa, now with tunisia, with libya, with all these countries, and certainly with mali, and how you plan to direct the agency to deal with this devolving momentum that is taking place in northern africa. so that will be for tuesday, and at the request of senator levin, i ask for unanimous consent to add into the record a joint statement that he and i made on april 27, 2012, and, secondly, in order to have mr. brennan's answers to questions for the record by the time he returns before us in closed session, i ask members provide questions for the record by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. that is friday, february 8, so
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we have them for you as soon as possible. i want to thank you and your family for being here and i wish you well. and you and the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, chairwoman. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> on c-span today, "washington journal" is next live with your phone calls. later, live coverage of the farewell ceremony for out coming -- outgoing defense secretary panetta. in 45 minutes, bob wheelock, executive producer of al jazeera's new u.s. based news channel. and the special inspector general for the troubled asset relief program talks about tax payer funded bailouts. and a look at how americans of compares to people of other industrialized countries. our guests are with the urban it

Capitol Hill Hearings
CSPAN February 8, 2013 6:00am-7:00am EST


TOPIC FREQUENCY Cia 19, Us 9, John Brennan 9, Mr. Brennan 6, U.s. 5, Panetta 5, Washington 3, North Africa 3, Al Qaeda 3, United States 3, Fbi 3, Madam 3, Graham 3, Yemen 2, Benghazi 2, Secondly 2, Levin 2, Syria 2, Fisa 2, Obama Administration 2
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